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† părăsītus, i, m., = παράσιτος, lit. one who eats with another; hence,
- I. In gen., a guest (pure Lat. conviva): parasiti Jovis, the gods, Varr. ap. Aug. Civ. Dei, 6, 7; App. M. 10, p. 246, 35.
Hence, parasitus Phoebi, a player, actor, Mart. 9, 29, 9.
- II. In partic., in a bad sense, one who, by flattery and buffoonery, manages to live at another’s expense, a sponger, toad-eater, parasite (syn. scurra): nos parasiti planius … Quasi mures semper edimus alienum cibum, etc., Plaut. Capt. 1, 1, 7; cf. id. Pers. 1, 3, 3; id. Stich. 2, 1, 42: parasitorum in comoediis assentatio, Cic. Lael. 26, 98: edaces parasiti, Hor. Ep. 2, 1, 173; Juv. 1, 139.
Comically, of a whip: ne ulmos parasitos faciat, that he will make his elm-twigs stick to me like parasites, i. e. give me a sound flogging, Plaut. Ep. 2, 3, 5.
The tutelar deity of parasites was Hercules, Plaut. Curc. 2, 3, 79.